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    what type of camera do i need?
    #1
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    I honestly don't know anywhere else to go, i hope im in the right place, im new........anyways, I just wanted some clarity on shooting a short (3-5 min) film and what type of camera i should or shouldn't be using. To my knowledge there is video cameras and still cameras, Video cameras and take stills and still cameras can take video, so what is the main difference? for example take the Canon 7D and the sony HXR-MC50U (links to both are at the bottom), according to Wikipedia the canon was used to shoot several main stream film such as 127 hours and black swan, and after seeing both films its hard to believe that it was shot using that rather then some top of the line 50,000 dollar camera, nonetheless i hope you get the idea of my question and hope you can help me out, thanks all


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    #2
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    side note: was planning on a short version post but kept rambling.

    you may state your budget for the film, and any resources or experienced crew members/friends/family you might have available to you at this point. also stating the film genre, and a small synopsis or the premise of the film may help.

    this question gets repeated a lot, you can browse through some of the earlier threads made by other people in different forum sections.

    **rambling alert**

    depending on the budget you have for the short film, how many films you plan to make in the future. you may consider to buy or rent gear as a percentage of your budget for the current and future projects.

    there are pros and cons to everything you try to do on a budget.

    i'll add in camera types if you fancy google-ing a bit before asking more questions, you may find models of all these camera types that shoot hd video

    camera phones(may be on a similar level or slightly better or worse than point and shoot cameras)
    point and shoot camera(bad stills, bad video, very limited battery life, fixed lens)

    compact camera(mirror-less stills camera sometimes with a video option, m43 to about aps-c sensor size camera, sometimes with the same or slightly more limited options than dslrs in stills and video, sometimes bad or limited battery life, sometimes with limited lens choices or may require simple mount adapters)

    dslr(great sensor sizes(aps-c, dx crop, full frame), can use a large array of lens, may introduce a lot of artifacts and softness in video, may not have quick auto focus or any autofocus options, may not have image stabilization made for video, may have more pronounced rolling shutter artifacts, may introduce more moire problems)

    consumer camcorder(may have image stabilization made for video, contained package, fixed super zoom lens, low to average image quality, tiny sensor size, bad to mild compression, great battery life, impressive recording time on inexpensive flash media)

    professional camcorder(may include interchangeable lens mount, large sensor size, input/output options for video, audio, power, time-code, may need additional equipment and support to function properly or at it's maximum output/power/quality)

    eng camera(sometimes more contained package, sometimes too big, sometimes really heavy, usually have a nice ergonomic shoulder mount built into the design, contained video recording in a better broadcast codec, contained power sometimes, accepts zoom lenses designed specifically for the 2/3 sensor size)

    high end cinema camera(sometimes big, sometimes heavy, usually output great images, always very expensive)

    film cameras (look into s16mm and 2 perf s35mm, may require stock, lab work, scanning or telecine)


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    #3
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    Yesterday we shot a 3 min clip with my brothers Canon T2i, i filmed and my bro and a close friend acted, i plan on making more in the future and i would say budget is around 900 bucks. I took a few film classes in college (cinematography and film theory) other then that i have no hands on experience. the main thing i want to know is if i continue filming in the future and become more serious with it should i save my money and just use his T2i or do i get a camcorder? i had my eye on the sony HXR-MC50U, thanks amr


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    #4
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    stick with the t2i

    - what's the lens situation? what do you currently have
    - what the audio situation?
    - what the lighting situation?
    - is this fiction or documentary?


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    #5
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    We actually used 1D Mark IVs on 127 Hours, not 7Ds, not 5D Mark IIs - along with SI2Ks as the main cameras and Moviecams with Kodak 35mm as backups (backups needed often because SI2Ks suck).


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    #6
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    So the thing to remember is 127 hours wasn't "shot" with a 7D (or rather, as nothing points out, the 1D Mark IVs), but they were used for the movie. Same with Black Swan. SOME of the shots, where they were particularly useful, were shot with dslrs (apparently the Avengers had a few shots with the 5d mk II)... which illustrates a good point: Don't just "get a camera," get the right camera for the job. And there are tons of factors you need to consider.
    But your best bet is going to read through the forums and stickies here, there's been plenty of talk already. In a general sense, I think the dslrs are great tools for indie filmmakers to start shooting. In the right settings, they CAN provide professional quality. I have a 7D and have used it on many projects. It's in my budget, and I know that if the worst happens and it gets lost/stolen/broken, that'll suck, but I'm not going to lose my house. (not that I have a house... but you know what I mean)


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    #7
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    Yeah, stick with the T2I. Improve your audio, lighting and camera work. Plan your shots. This will all make a huge difference.

    The biggest mistakes new filmmakers make:
    1. Poor audio
    2. Poor camera work
    3. Being so excited about the technical side of making a film, they forget that in front of the lens (actors, story, location, etc.) is where the most attention is needed.


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    #8
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    Thanks again everyone for the help, as far as the lenses I have a 18mm to 55mm and then a 55mm to 250mm. As far as audio I'm using the built in mic on the cam, I can easily buy a shotgun mic for the top though, no lighting, we were outside and it was Sunny haha, and the the clip we shot was fiction but I have some documentary stuff in mine for the future.


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    #9
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    if your starting in fiction, and that budget is exclusively for equipment

    digital audio recorder - something like the tascam dr-40 or dr-100, you can add a mic or 2 later

    big reflectors and scrims - maybe one scrim, 1 or 2 big reflectors(the triangular or rectangular ones, white,silver,gold), one black(sometimes the bigger ones come in 2(fron-back) or multi in one reflector).

    do you have enough memory and battery, maybe a battery grip and a battery. some cards. have enough storage.

    one prime lens - 50mm or 85mm (f1.4 or f1.8) <-- that or a mic kit

    you can most likely use most of that equipment with whatever your next camera may be, it's all expandable except for the lens. you need to make a careful decision on the lens you would want to have, or be willing to sell and migrate every-time you change the camera company. you can look into ziess lens and nikon adapter mounts for ef.


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